Mum left shaken after stray dogs attack family pet in Donacloney

Lily the dog who was set upon by two strays in Donacloney.
Lily the dog who was set upon by two strays in Donacloney.

A Donacloney mum has spoken of the moment she and her pet dog were attacked by a couple of strays in the village - and her child’s pram knocked into the middle of the road in the melee.

Sarah McKeown (25) was injured on the hand as she struggled to save her pet dog Lily - an eight-year-old King Charles Cavalier - after being set upon by two large dogs running free.

During the terrifying incident her son’s pram was knocked into the middle of the road, which could have had hideously tragic consequences.

Sarah had been walking her dog on Thursday around 2pm when the attack happened.

She said: “The two dogs came up to us and one of them grabbed Lily by the throat and was shaking her like a teddy bear.

“They knocked the youngster’s pram into the middle of the road, another second a car or lorry could have been coming down the road and the child could have been dead.”

She managed to wrestle Lily free of her attacker and put her over a fence to safety. One of the dogs, she says, bit her on the hand during the struggle.

Two men passing by came to Sarah’s rescue, getting the pram containing her one-year-old son Noel out of the road.

Sarah took her dog to the vet and while the pet was shaken had not received serious injury but was given an injection to combat the pain and shock.

In the aftermath of the incident Sarah too has been badly shaken: “I’ve been petrified, I can’t sleep and I can’t leave the house. I never used to be afraid of dogs.”

She said: “Every time I think about it I see that dog’s mouth open and that Lily could have been pulled to pieces. I couldn’t protect anyone. You shouldn’t have to worry about strange dogs coming after you. I would appeal to dog owners to keep their pets under control.”

Sarah, from Irwin Place in the village is the mother of two sons Charlie (2) and Noel Forsythe (1).

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s dog warden service has received a complaint in relation to an alleged incident involving two dogs in the Donacloney area, a council spokesperson said.

An investigation is ongoing and will be carried out in accordance with the council’s Dog Control Enforcement Policy.

The council responds to all complaints of attacks by dogs and would take this opportunity to remind all dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept under control when in a public place and that dogs are kept secure in a yard or enclosure at home to prevent straying.